Remote meetings are best for updates and information sharing, but it is possible to effectively facilitate decisions with a little planning. Generally, the meeting leader needs to clearly state the proposed decision and then separately poll each participant for concurrence. Normally, there will be a range of responses, requiring the facilitator to restate the proposal and repeat the process. Several iterations may be required before a consensus is achieved. I usually confirm decisions by restating the conclusion as it will appear in the meeting notes and asking the participants to express any objections. Gaining commitment to follow-up actions is never easy, of course, but tends to be particularly tricky in remote meetings. The ideal solution is to use collaboration software with a whiteboard as a means of recording the follow-up actions and responsibilities. (A Word or Excel document viewed through NetMeeting works equally well.) But if the meeting is being conducted without collaboration software, the leader must review each follow-up action explicitly, even painstakingly. I generally note follow-up actions throughout the meeting and use the last few minutes to confirm and finalize. I read each action and name the person I think owns the responsibility. When the person accepts, I validate by asking for a completion date. All the normal rules for assigning follow-up actions apply, of course. One, and only one, person must be responsible for each action, and assigning an action to somebody not present is akin to assigning it to nobody.